Sports | August 21, 2022 6:00 am

Hank Aaron Rookie Card Sets New Record in Auction

The card sold for $720,000

Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves swings at the pitch during an MLB Spring Training game against the New York Yankees circa March, 1958.
Hy Peskin/Getty Images

In 1954, Hank Aaron played his first game in Major League Baseball. It was the beginning of an extraordinary career, and one that established him as one of the greatest athletes of all time. As you might guess, Aaron’s legacy has also led to an increased demand for memorabilia associated with him. And this week, a collectibles auction illustrated Aaron’s place in sports history.

As The Athletic’s Bill Shea pointed out, PWCC recently auctioned off a mint condition rookie card for Aaron. In this case, that’s a 1954 Topps card featuring Aaron at the start of his time with the Braves — who were playing in Milwaukee at the time. (Decades later, he’d finish his career in the same city, playing for the Brewers.) The rookie card sold for $720,000 — which set a new record for a baseball card sold at auction featuring Aaron.

As PWCC’s own report on the card points out, Aaron’s rookie card has a place in baseball history for multiple reasons. It’s the rookie card for an all-time great, but it’s also indicative of card maker Topps finding the right balance between showing a portrait of a player and displaying that player in the midst of a game.

As Sports Collectors Daily observed, the previous record for this card was $645,000. There aren’t many of these cards in existence that remain in as good condition as this one, making that sale price of almost three-quarters of a million dollars feel eminently understandable.